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from them. They were both in situations, because it was an object of vital imporfull of resources, and among the strongest tance to destroy Antwerp, we should therepositions in this country, but which had fore have undertaken it with means inadebeen least thought of, and the most neg: quale to its execution. He had thought, lect ud. The 'hon. general then desired that in proportion to the importance of to draw the attention of the House to what the object ought to be the means employbad been advanced as to the impressioned for its accomplishment. Surprized as an army might have made upon a forti- he was at this, however, he confessed his fied town, fully inhabited, and shewed that astonishment was increased in a tenfold the great duke of Marlborough, after the degree at the cool indifference with which battle of Ramillies, appeared before Anto the noble lord opposite had affected to werp, then in a strong state of defence which argue on calamities which had been derived had in it twelve regiments; but that the to the country from his auspices--calami-' duke being in possession of the avenues to ties more disastrous, more disgraceful, the place, the inhabitants induced the ge- and more dreadful than bad arisen from neral to surrender rather than risk the de- any other expedition in the whole history struction of the town. That in the same of the war down to the present period. campaign the duke of Marlborough ap- The noble lord indeed, with a phraseology peared before Ostend, one of the strongest peculiarly his own had expressed a wish towns in the Low Countries, which after to have this Expedition tried by the exthree days siege, surrendered by the in-perience of the fact. In his opinion, that fluence of the populace. He now drew was precisely the ordeal by wbich, in conclusions from these historical facts, order to suit the interest of the noble lord that government was justified in undertake it ought not to be tried; because there was. ing such an Expedition as that which had not one single fact which did not militate been undertaken against the Scheldt, and directly against its adoption. The right against Antwerp, even if there was only a hon. gent. opposite had, on last night, single chance of success, the object being entered into a long and laboured defence 80 great; but he maintained, that had of the Expedition, and in order to disCadsand been possessed according to the tract the mind of the House from the original plan, and had not the admiral only point to which it should be directed, been obliged by the weather to carry the took a survey of the situation of the whole fleet into the Roompot, the Expedition world; and argued that in such a state must have succeeded; that the enemy not of things, an expedition ought to have been being able to defend the important post of sent somewhere. Bathz, was a proof of the weakness of their The right bon. gent. seemed to think force in Antwerp, for bad they been that his best mode of defence would be strong there, they never would have ingeniously to attempt 10 distract thegiven up. Bathz in the manner they did, minds of his judges, and turn their attenand which opened the whole West Scheldt tion from the contemplation of the real to our fleet on the 2d of August. This merits of the case (hear! hear!) ' You picture was so strong a one, so strongly could not, said the right hon. gent. go to impressed upon the commander in chief the north of Germany, for there you of the land forces, that he early detached would come in contact with the 'broken that gallant and excellent officer sir John army of Prussia; you could not go to the Hope to secure that fort, and had the wind Mediterranean, there was no good to be allowed of the transports getting up the done by landing at Trieste, for there you West Scheldt, the hon. general maintained would not find any Austrian force to cothat the Expedition would in all human operate with you then think of the probability have succeeded.
horrors of treading, as the right hon. gent's Sir Francis Burdett felt it impossible for phrase was, the Gut of Gibraltar-think him to refrain from offering his sentiments of the dreadful dangers of the Adriatic, on this question, though he doubted whe- with the navigation of which this marither he should be able to do it the justice time nation was so little acquainted-think which its importance demanded. If any of the storms you might there have to enthing could have astonished him, after he counter. had read the papers on the table, the sort
-Auster of defence set up by ministers would bave Dux inquieti turbidus Adriæ ! had that effect. For what did that defence He was not disposed to deny that every really amount to, but simply this, that one of those expeditions might have been
abortive in their conception and ill-ad- , deceived in the estimate of our loss durvised in the adoption, but he would denying the preceding campaign in Spain, that any one of ihem could have met with which had been laid before them by mimore complete failure, or entailed upon nisters. If this estimate had been true, it the country more calamitous
was impossible that we should not have quences, than did the one which was acted had forces enough to send the Expedition on.- (Hear, hear !) Neither the menaced early in the spring to Walcheren ; but Prussian army, vor the Straits of Gibral- the estimate was not true. We had lost tar, nor the Mediterranean Sea, could be much more than the ministers chose to more frightfully fatal than the mandate disclose, and the country was duped into which sent our brave and patient troops to an opinion, that its situation was more fall before an invincible enemy, the prosperous than it really was. At length, plague, in the marshes of Walcheren ; however, the noble lord undertook the where, as a right hon. gent. (Mr. Wind Expedition with what-disposable force he ham) had said with a felicity of expres- could muster, against the great skill of the sion almost peculiar to himself, ihey French emperor, and the great power of were extinguished like a candle in a France, which was now, in effect, all Euvault (hear! hear!) Ministers, however, rope. The noble lord then wrote his did not think so; they determined to most curious letter to the commander in send out an Expedition, and out they chief, pointing out the advantages of the sent one, without having obtained one Expedition, and declaring, if it was not particle of information az to how it undertaken at that time, that Antwerp should proceed, or taking one single would soon be impregnable. After this, precaution against the many perils which what he did do? Why, commenced this were likely to impede their progress. important Expedition without one single In March last the noble lord
iota of information! He sent out an inceived the idea of this campaign; he mense armament, merely to see whether a thought he had a disposable force, and blow might not be somewhere struck since he had it he was determined to against the enemy.
The noble lord then waste it; and so he sent to the Comman- dispatched the Expedition at last without der in Chief for his opinion on the subject. information on which to proceed, without The Commander in Chief sent back for a plan to guide it, or even the apprebenanswer, that he could not spare 16,000 sion of any opposition, or a supposition of men for the purpose ! Sixteen thousand any danger, until it reached Batz; where men out of the enormous establishment all its operations terminated ! From the paid for by the country! The Expedi- departure of the Expedition, till its arrival tion could not therefore sail in March. at Batz, there was not one step which did No; necessity and the prudence of the not demand enquiry. It was sent out ministry prevented it. The fever was without an idea of danger till it came to not then to be met with, and the ships Batz, and yet at that very place did this might then have been taken; and so the great army, conducted by greater folly Expedition was deferred until the raging than ever had been exhibited on any similar of the disease rendered the destruction of occasion, ends its catalogue of disease and the troops certain, and the advanced period disasters by an announced failure. To of the season made the safety of the ar- send out this Expedition, however, the mament precarious. In July then they noble lord was determined, because he set out to carry the fever, Antwerp, and considered that there was a fit disposable the fleet, by a coup-de-main-(Hear)-a force in the country; a supposition taken coup-de-main ! and yet it appeared by the up in direct opposition to the statement of orders of the French emperor to his offi- the commander in chief. The noble lord cers, that he was apprised of their inten- was like the poor man in Horace, who tion even so far back as March. If he could not be persuaded that all the wealth had not this certainty, such were the in the country did not belong to him. cabals and vacillation of the ministry, that Nothing was sufficient to convince the he would not believe they had themselves noble lord, that he had not a disposable conceived the project at that period. force.
He could not help here making one infe- The indifference of the noble lord to rence, however, from our poverty of force the sad consequences of his own folly and in March last; which was, that the House infatuation, was now detestable; the calaand the country had been most grossly mities which he entailed on the country were horrible, frightful beyond expres scandalous, and imbecile manner, went sion, and the levity with which he treated forth this disastrous Expedition, to dimis the subject in the present discussion, truly nish the bonour of our army, and destroy shocking. The noble lord had an idea, that the best hopes of England. In fifteen because Antwerp was at the moment without days, it was calculated we might have troops, he might take it at once without diffi- reached Antwerp by Ostend; this was culty. This was a most fallaciousidea. There too dilatory for a coup-de-main, and was was, not, most probably, at this moment, abandoned; the other plan of landing in a perfect garrison, either at Toulon or Walcheren was adopted, and even before Brest; and yet what man in his senses we got to Batz the fifteen days were excould conceive the notion of taking either hausted. But still the ministers and the by a coup-de-main! If these things were to commanders were delighted-mutual combe persisted in- if the wealth, the strength, pliments passed between them-it was in and the forces of the country were to be this respect the most good-natured expethus unnecessarily and unprofitably squan- dition he ever heard of. The ministers
. dered, it was impossible not to foresee how praised Chatham for his vigour, and he it would end. The noble lord, had at praised the ministers for their preparations ; length, however, thought proper to take and so he went on gaining laurels and some military opinions as to the possibility battles, carrying towns which were never of taking Antwerp by a coup-de-main. He heard of before, by a coup-de-main, and asked the opinion of the commander in bearing down every thing before him, for chief–he knew nothing at all about the the very best of reasons, because he was matter, but he referred to four general of not opposed, until at last a wet ditch at ficers, and they, indeed, produced docu- Middleburg arrested his progress, and ments in reply, full of official form, full of ended his achievements. affected science, assumed pomp, and per- As to the navy, the occupation of Cadfect inanity. All of them said, if you do sand had been stated as an indispensable so and so, you may succeed; yet all agreed preliminary, and there accordingly the upon the idea of the coup-de-main upon marquis of Huntley proceeded; but when Antwerp_ being absurd and impossible. he arrived, the whole fleet of England General Brownrigg proposed two plans of could not furnish him with boats to land campaign ; but there were some slight his soldiers, and so the indispensable obobjections to both; the one was impossi- ject was relinquished. Some persons, it ble, and the other impracticable. The at- was true, had said, that this failure was tempt by Ostend was out of the question ; not attributable to the want of boats. But and the other plan, even putting ihe fever the marquis of Huntley gave a different aside, very doubtful of success. However, opinion, and that was all the answer which between the commander in chief who he would give to the objection. Two letknew nothing about the matter; the offi- ters were written on the subject, one home cers who knew nothing about the matter ; from the admiral, and the other from capand the minister who knew nothing about tain Owen, to the admiral; the latter of the matter, an armament was prepared out those said, the reaiher was very fine, and of the half recovered wreck of the army the other said it was very bad ; one said. from Spain, and the volunteers from the there was plenty of boats, and the other militia.
said there were none; and in this pleasIn such a situation was the military part ing state of uncertainty, which he would of the Expedition sent out; the same mi. not seek to obviate, resied the question. serable deficiency in means, plan, and in- At last, however, after many doubts, formation, attended the navy; the noble and failures, and disasters, the batteries lord at the head of the admiralty knew were opened upon Flushing, but at such a nothing at all--he was quite ignorant on distance that they could not even silence every subject relative to the measure on a little advanced battery before the town. which he should be informed; so was sir The town nevertheless was taken, and the R. Strachan; he told lord Mulgrave so, dreadful bombardment succeeded. Thus but lord Mulgrave was not to be per- it was with ruin in our acts, and hypocrisy suaded even by fact. “No,” said'he, in our promises, we attempted to conciliate “you certainly do know nothing on the the people whom we affected to compassubject, but that is the reason I have great sionale under the iron despotism of Buona. confidence in you—and you will do the parté. We destroyed their habitations ; business very well.” Thus in this foolish, we desolated their land, and we then told them we came for their preservation! In. as criminals before the House, and that human in our prosperity towards the na- not only the ministers, but the general and tives, the ague attacked us, and then our admiral ought to be punished for having minds changed; we became suddenly hu. undertaken to conduct an expedition, in a mane to all, except to our own poor soldiers, state of complete ignorance as to the mode whom, lest we should offend the island, we in which the duty could be performed. left in their sickness to perish, without a And nothing less than the impeachment dry spot whereon to lie, or a roof to pro- of the one, and a court-martial on the tect them! This humanisy was perfectly others, could, or ought to satisfy the consistent with our preposterous manage-country. In all their proceedings there ment all through. For instance, sir Home was a marked disregard for their country, Popham was the only person, except the and a cautious concern merely for their pilot of the fleet, who was supposed to own interests. From beginning to the know any thing of the navigation of the end they were all the same ; all ignorant, Scheldt. To him was entrusted then the presumptuous and imbecile. As to the conduct of the fleet up to Batz. What commander in chief, he could not help did he do? Why, he attempted to go by saying, that the result of the inspection of the West Scheldt, until, by his failure, be the papers on the table was merely wonder found out that he ought to bave tried the how any man, with the feelings of a genEast Scheldt. Thus this best-informed tleman, could act as he did ; how any man in the fleet took the course the most man possessed of such conscious and cona contrary to his interest and object. The victed imbecility, could retain his situagallant captain next went through the tion. The noble lord was very anxious Veer Gat, and lord Chatham seemed to to separate the question of the medical think, because this had been accomplished, board, from that of the merits of the Exthat the enemy must be totally discomfit- pedition. This he could not do : it ex. ed. All they had to depend on was the cited in him the instant recollection of the utter impossibility of this passage ! Sir brave men who fell victims to the disease, Home was next sent to ascertain the pas- The noble lord betrayed, indeed, through sage to South Beveland, and he proceeded all his speech a callous insensibility to the to the North. He might just as well have miseries he had caused, truly shocking ; set out from that House for Kensington over he sported with the death which he had Westminster-bridge! (Hear, hear !) ---On occasioned, and even presumed to perthe 24th, at last, up they got to Batz, and suade the country that its calamities were then they came to a stop. Sir R. Strachan, honours! One would have thought that taking advantage of the pause, ventured he who came down with the deaths of to hint that it would be convenient to thousands on his head, would have exknow upon what place the conjoint expe. pressed some sorrow for the bloody condition was to proceed. A council of war sequence of his own folly and incompewas called they had now come to the But no ! the noble lord dared even grand point from which in future all their to compare himself to Chatham, Nelson, operations were to proceed. What did St. Vincent, and those brave heroes who they do? They set off home.
had directed our arms, under better and Thus,ended an Expedition which was happier auspices, and to constant and imundertaken by ignorance, and executed by perishable glory. He was amazed bow imbecility-an Expedition which wasted he dared to mention the names of those the treasure of the country, the lives of great men on such an occasion. (Hear ! our troops, and the honour of our name
Why, this dreadful Expedition an Expedition planned by fatuity and im- had cost the country, on a serious calcula. potence the most unparalleled. Was there tion from the returns on the table, which, ihen no punishment for those who had however, were far below the mark, which -sent out this Expedition? Hardly any he had made, three times as many lives thing could be stronger against them than as all the glorious naval victories which the statements which they made in their we had gained since the commencement own defence. Some might perhaps think of the war, including the glorious and de
that he spoke too warmly on this subject. cisive battle of Trafalgar ! (Hear! hear!) , He confessed he could not help feeling And yet of all this the noble lord spoke warmly for the unnecessary calamities with a tranquillity, with respect to which which had been brought upon the country: he wanted language to express the feelHe maintaineel that the ministers stood ing of his mind! When every indignant TOL. XY
sentiment of patriotism was roused by the only thing to be done for the salvation the contemplation of these calamities, his of the country. Without a change of sysfordship spoke of disease, death and de- tem-without reverting to the principles struction, as familiarly as girls of thirteen of the constitution, with the decline of would talk of puppy dogs! The right which the country had declined, no per honourable gentleman opposite (Mr. Can. manent good could be expected. That ning) had rather deprecated the severity was his opinion, and he trusted it was the of the House on this point, and therefore opinion of the country. If we wished to he felt that there was at least more pro- be rescued from our present perilous situapriety in his language. But that right tion, we must have reform.-Reform wbich hon. gent. had made use of an argument would revive and re-establish the ancient respecting which he must way a word. fundamental principles of our constitation. The right hon. gent accounted for the Unless this was obtained, neither himself failure, not from the misconduct of mi- nor the country would be satisfied. From nisters, but from the despotism of Buona- the folly of not demanding this arose an parté. This country, in that right hon. our calamities. From it arose this Expegentleman's opinion, came to the contest dition--this child of corruption, expiring under great disadvantages,'owing to the by its own inherent imbecility. All their freedom of our constitution. He should calamities, all their disgraces, were de have thought that the right hon. gent. sb rived froin the want of a fair and equal rewell read in the Greek and Roman histo- presentation. To that, and that alone, the rians, would have been among the last to people ought to look; it would be folly have broached such an opinion. He (sir to expect relief from any other cause. If F.) had always 'understood that the ener- this was obtained, they would no longer gies of Greece and Rome were to be ac. see ministerial weakness working on abancounted for by the free nature of their doned prostitution. This was their only institutions. So the most eminent of their avenue of escape from ruin, imminent historians accounted for them. These ruin. For himself, he cared not, if that energies had been tried against despots ; ruin was to come, whether it came in the and if despotism had such peculiar advan- shape of a rotten borough, or an open iron tages the results ought to have been very despotism. Of the mismanagement of different. Machiavel, a finished poli- the medical department he had said little, tician, had declared that the greatness of because it was to come separately under the Roman people was founded on their consideration. The minister was mistaken, freedom. They had indeed flourished, if he thought to escape by blaming the and they had so flourished by opposing commanders, though for his own part, he despotism with the arms of liberty. So I admitted that all were guilty. In looking did Athens--her eloquence, and her free at this Expedition through all its parts, zeal, resisted numbers with success. The one could hardly speak of it with the nebest and greatest of our own politicians cessary moderation. If in private life, if accounted for the eminenccin which Eng- he saw the catastrophe of men so brave, land stood among European nations, be. so patient, so martyred, he could call it yond all proportion to her means, from nothing else than cool, deliberate, atrothe same cause the freedom of her insti- cious murder. (Hear, hear, hear!) Though tutions. This doctrine of the right hon. ministers within twelve hours' sail of Walgent. who had been lately high in office, cheren might have had every information, and might perhaps soon return to office they would not deign to seek it, but sent again, was to him new and mortifying. It their soldiers unheedingly to their grave, these were the sentiments of our rulers, They now called for vengeance the ho. this fact alone, in his opinion, was suslici- nour of the House was pledged to give it; ent to account for our calamities.
and, for himself, he would say nothing He should now most heartily support but instant impeachment and court-mar. the Resolutions proposed by the noble lord tial should satisfy the nation for the cruel below (Porchester), though he thought eflusion of their army's blood. they should have gone farther. The Mr. Bathurst, in allusion to what had ministers ought to be called to an account fallen from the hon. baronet relative to very different from a mere censure of that the energies of the ancient commonwealths, House, and the officers ought to be tried begged to remind him that these energies by Courts Martial. But the removal of were first impaired by the exertions of the present ministers from office was not factious leaders of the populace, who bav.